Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Hanukkah . . . and other short stories

Along with lights, it's been a festival of dining in as of late. Lots of eating in, but not much picture taking. Below are a few of the more recent meals.

But first, look at those Hanukkah gifts. Pretty sweet. Everyone needs a reference book, and a gently used copy of Gastronomique should provide just that. For inspiration, The Old World Kitchen and Elizabeth David's Classics are indeed classic. Nearly every page has accessible recipes that I didn't know I had been looking for, or recipes that I've been looking for forever--and I don't even love recipes. Not much to say about Bouchon. A really pretty book with recipes that are beyond reproach. The lady friend nailed it across the board. Added bonus: everything but Bouchon was picked up on Cleveland's dreamy Near West Side at Zubal Books. (Take that Loganberry!! Just kidding, that store is awesome too.)

There are plenty of cookbooks out there, but these all promise to remain relevant for the foreseeable future. Unless we all get one of these.

On to the food.

Yellowtail snapper from Kate's. Good enough says Monterey. Yellow rice is basmati cooked in water with some mild curry powder (Urban Herbs) and dried cranberries.

The snapper was stuffed with: bruised cilantro, thinly sliced garlic and onion, and lime slices. Seasoned inside and out with salt and pepper, coated with a little bit of olive oil, and roasted in a 425 oven. Simple, easy, and good.

Steak salad. Farmers market greens, sliced red onion, rare grassfed skirt steak (Millgate Farms--at the farmers market). Some parmesan on top (Cheese Shop). Cranberries in there, too.

The dressing was nice, a kind of mustardy vinaigrette. Salt, pepper, dijon, sherry vinegar, Spanish olive oil, and local maple syrup.

And a nice, albeit saucy, dish. Veal scallopini in a kind of sauce chasseur with mashed potatoes. That sauce came in handy with the potatoes.

The veal pieces (Plum Creek), were seasoned, dipped in flour, and then very briefly sauteed in olive oil in a hot pan. They then hung out in a 180 oven.
For the sauce, in the pan that cooked the meat went some fresh oil, a bunch of oyster mushrooms (Killbuck Valley), shallot (Snake Hill), and some thyme (backyard). Seasoned with salt and pepper, that cooked for a bit. Then in went some white wine. It reduced and then in went some veal stock. Reduced. Then some butter was swirled in and back in went the veal. Comfort food at its finest.

You know how to make mashed potatoes.


livetocook said...

It looks like you've been eating well! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a wonderful new year to you and yours!

PS Don't you love Plum Creek!?

The CFT said...

Thanks. You too. And I'm going to try to add your blog to the roll soon. (I follow the food forum wackiness and you seem like one of the stable ones.)

I do love Plum Creek. Have been out to the farm and just think it's a great place with great products. Getting chickens for my yard was bittersweet b/c I love their eggs.

Debra said...

hey CFT -
Can you recommend a vendor to buy pork from at the WSM? I haven't bought meat there before, and I'm overwhelmed by the number of vendors...

The CFT said...

Hi Debra. There aren't any I could recommend w/o reservation, but in a pinch Sebastian's Meats is pretty good.

On Friday's they usually have Heffelfinger (sp?) pork, otherwise that whole place is all Daisyfield (Sandusky I think) all the time, and that stuff is okay but not really too good. I'd call the linked vendor and mention that you'd like Heffelfinger pork, and he'll likely return a msg and say they've got Heffelfinger on Friday and set whatever you're looking for aside for you. Most of the folks working there don't really know the difference either way, so calling is the best thing to do, I think.

I understand that's kind of a PITA, and if you don't feel like doing that all the rest of the stuff at the WSM is the sourced the same so I'd just get what looks best. Hope that helps.

I'd really suggest that you take a trip to Shaker's indoor winter farmers mkt and get pork from New Creation Farm. That stuff is amazing. It's like a whole different animal.

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Debra said...

Thanks for the advice, CFT. You're right, I really ought to get over to Shaker on Saturday morning...have a happy new year :)